Durable solutions


Achieving durable solutions is a challenge for all displaced people, whether they remained within their own country or crossed an international border in their flight. IDMC’s research examines the conditions needed for the safe return of IDPs and refugees to their place of origin or for their integration in a new home, and assesses whether these conditions are met in different countries.

According to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), durable solutions to displacement are achieved when displaced people “no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs that are linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination on account of their displacement.” Yet displaced people often continue experiencing challenges upon return to their place of origin or relocation in a new community. Since 2017, IDMC has been investigating these challenges to understand the conditions needed to overcome them.

Our research highlights the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. Many refugees are internally displaced before crossing an international border, as seen in Iraq, Myanmar and Colombia. Those who find themselves unable to seek international protection are exposed to repeated internal displacement, as witnessed in Yemen. Returning refugees can also be forced into internal displacement, as seen in South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, or return prematurely because of difficult conditions in exile or expeditive return policies, as seen in Afghanistan.

Our work calls attention to situations of particular concern, highlights key threats to IDPs’ safety and wellbeing, and measures progress towards finding durable solutions. IDMC’s first severity assessment compares IDPs’ living conditions in different countries and contexts, using a standard methodology. A second assessment was conducted at the end of 2020. Our research also highlights the importance of preventing premature returns, and offers opportunities to enhance the sustainability of return and reduce the risk of further displacement.